This question is on the minds of almost everyone I come in contact with these days. Friends, customers, family, associates, perspective customers – you name it. This question prompts me to share more about PipelineDeals, our philosophy and how you can apply what we have learned to help and grow your business.
We built PipelineDeals from the beginning using admittedly old-fashioned principles. At the time we were told we were not being “aggressive enough” or we needed to “get big fast”. Our response: No thank you. We were fortunate enough to have some early and sage advice from two people: a close friend and an accomplished entrepreneur in her own right, as well as a family member who is an accomplished businessman. The distilled version of their advice was:
+ Organize and understand your business around your financials.
+ Earn revenue first, hire people later.
Looking back over the last three years these two chunks of wisdom were critical to our success thus far. Other key decisions paying off today (each will probably be a follow up post in their own right):
+ No VC, Angel or Friends & Family money.
+ Stay obsessively focused on your niche.
+ Service the heck out of your niche.
+ When you must hire, hire insanely good people.
+ Listen and act on feedback from your Customers.
Fast forward to today – these decisions have provided us with self-reliance and a healthy balance sheet. In one word: Sustainability. I don’t believe any company is immune to today’s economic climate, however these early decisions have set us up to weather most storms. Specifically, we remain privately held and profitable while not worrying about “raising another round of financing” and whether it will be an “up round” or “down round”. We are able to stay focused on executing our business as cleanly and as well as possible without distraction thanks to making some early fundamental decisions. Our business model forces us earn our customers’ patronage every month and thankfully we continue to do so month in and month out, year in and year out.
Put these strategies into motion in your business, so the next time someone asks you the question: “How is your business doing?” you will be able to answer positively. Lastly, please feel free to write to me should you want to discuss these ideas or others at jp (at) pipelinedealsco (dot) com.
As a footnote, Reid Hoffman, the CEO and Founder of the world’s most popular business social networking site LinkedIn had a thought provoking column today in The Washington Post about start ups and their role in restarting the economy. A worthwhile read.
Wishing you nothing but success,
Image: A Dutch Ship in a Storm by Matthieu van Plattenberg from the Mid-17th Century.